On Friday, the Queen’s children will hold a Vigil of the Princes, a royal tradition where they’ll stand guard beside the coffin of their late relative, ahead of the late monarch’s state funeral on Monday.
During the funeral, the Queen’s coffin will be taken by state gun carriage from the Palace of Westminster to Westminster Abbey for a service conducted by the Dean of Westminster, Buckingham Palace announced on Thursday. At the close of the service, there will be two minutes of national silence before the coffin leaves the Abbey and processes to Wellington Arch before making its very final journey to St George’s Chapel at Windsor, where the Queen will be buried.
There will be a second, shorter service, conducted by the Dean of Windsor at St George’s Chapel before a private family burial when the Queen is finally laid to rest in the King George VI memorial chapel alongside her late father, mother, sister and her late husband, Prince Philip. It was both Philip and Queen Elizabeth’s wish to be buried together.
The palace also confirmed that King Charles will lead the processions of the coffin accompanied by senior members of the royal family including her children Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward; her grandchildren Prince William, Prince Harry, Peter Philips; her cousin, the Duke of Gloucester; Princess Anne’s husband Vice Admiral Timothy Lawrence; her nephew, the Earl of Snowdon and other trusted members of the Queen’s household.
The procession of the gun carriage is a tradition which is over 100 years old and it is the same gun carriage used for the funerals of the Queen’s father and mother.
Sources say the Queen signed off on every detail of her funeral, including her wish that national health workers be allowed to walk in front of the coffin during its procession from the abbey to Wellington Arch.
The Earl Marshal who is in charge of the funeral plans said, “‘It is our aim and belief that the State Funeral and events over the next few days will unite people across the globe and resonate with people of all faiths, whilst fulfilling Her Majesty and her family’s wishes to pay a fitting tribute to an extraordinary reign.”
Among the 2,000 guests planning to attend the funeral service include heads of state, foreign royal families, governors general and Realm Prime Ministers. The King will host a state reception on Sunday for the visiting heads of state which aides say will be the king’s first official state event, according to Buckingham Palace.
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